Petitions and referendums against Olympic bids show that the Olympic Games are no longer perceived as indisputably beneficial as they are presented to the public as being. Through a look at the city development plans for the Rio 2004 and 2016 bids, Igor Kováč points to some of the reasons why.
The Swedish Olympic Committee initially wanted to host the 2022 winter Games, but the city said no. Now, the tune has changed. A majority in the municipality of Stockholm wants to proceed with a bid to host the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in 2026.
While the Budapest City Assembly approved the city’s bid for the Olympics in 2024, a youth organisation has initiated an anti-Olympics campaign and is advocating for a referendum to decide whether to go forward with the bid or not.
Certain economic and socio-political tendencies are determinant factors when countries bid for an Olympic Games, says a statistical study showing that long-term economic growth, long-term history of autocracy or prioritising of health are among the decisive factors.
Choosing permanent Olympic host cities, one on each continent, could help the IOC secure cheaper and more sustainable events while living up to their own Olympic values, argues Igor Kovač in this commentary piece.